Dear Otselic Valley:
We have more news. An update from the New York State Health Department and the Governor about responding to the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak was released on April 16, 2020. A number of essential points are relevant to the Otselic Valley community:
- "Schools and nonessential businesses will stay closed through May 15th." The Governor has been evaluating school closures every 2 weeks, so we will learn later if school closure will extend beyond May 15, 2020.
- The Governor will also "issue an executive order requiring all people in New York to wear masks or face coverings in public." You may notice our bus drivers and aides with face masks while they are out delivering food and school materials.
- "New Yorkers without health insurance can apply through New York State of Health through May 15, 2020; must apply within 60 days of losing coverage."
- New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.
- Testing is free for all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health care provider.
- Your local health department is your community contact for COVID-19 concerns.
Also, according to the Governor's Executive Order 202.13 , school district voting for the budget, capital project, and school board elections originally scheduled for May 19, 2020 has been postponed till at least June 1, 2020:
- "Any school board, library board, or village election scheduled to take place in April or May of 2020 is hereby postponed until at least June 1, 2020, and subject to further directive as to the timing, location or manner of voting for such elections."
During this further extension of our school building closure, school activity will continue: food deliveries, instruction by teachers, guidance and counseling support, grades, and later voting for the school budget, capital project, and Board of Education election (now anticipated for June 2, 2020, but subject to change pending directives from the New York State Education Department).
We do not yet have more information about what this means for the rest of the school year calendar, but we will keep you updated. For now, you can learn more about today's announcements from the New York State Health Department at this link: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home .
Remember, the Chenango County Health Department and other health departments provide valuable public health resources through links to all kinds of information: https://www.co.chenango.ny.us/public-heal…/nursing/virus.php.
Now isn't the time to give up. Sustained social distancing practice is the best tool we have right now to prevent illness. Whether we are in a high-risk category or not, working together on this public health crisis is the key to getting back to community-wide health, public safety, and all those activities that we enjoy when we are together at school.
Students and families, if you are feeling frustrated or discouraged about things like school, technical issues, the need for emotional support, or food, please contact us. Know that we are still here for you while we work together in new ways. You are missed very much, and we look forward to the day when we can all be together at school. Stay well, everybody.
Robert G. Berson, Superintendent of Schools
Otselic Valley CSD